Ottawa

Rape survivor 'floored' by her attacker's Jordan appeal

A rapist twice convicted of sexual assault will appear in a Brockville, Ont., courtroom Thursday and attempt to use a Charter challenge to have the case against him stayed.

Ryan Hartman, 38, set to argue his Charter right to a trial in a reasonable timeframe was violated

This 31-year-old rape survivor, whose identity is protected by a court order, says she has been re-traumatized by her attacker's decision to pursue a Charter challenge. (CBC)

A rapist twice convicted of sexual assault will appear in a Brockville, Ont., courtroom Thursday and attempt to use a Charter challenge to have the case against him stayed.

In November, an Ontario court judge rejected Ryan Hartman's sexsomnia defence and found him guilty of sexual assault a second time.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place Jan. 24, but it's now unclear whether that will happen as planned.

The Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed Monday that an application for a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delay is before the courts. It was filed Jan. 17.

Hartman is set to argue his right to a timely trial was violated.

First convicted in 2012

The 38-year-old was first charged with sexual assault in 2011 and found guilty in 2012. On his second appeal in 2015, he won a new trial and argued he was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder. 

I was in tears. I was just floored ... I thought this was over and it's not.- Rape survivor

Hartman admitted to pulling down the pants of a woman and anally penetrating her while she was asleep on an air mattress at a house party.

Defence lawyer Margaret Bojanowska argued Hartman was unaware of what he was doing because he was asleep at the time.

Justice Kimberly Moore ruled that Hartman failed to prove he had sexsomnia, and attributed his inability to remember his actions to an alcohol-related blackout.

Charter challenge may have merit

Ottawa defence lawyer Mark Ertel said the second trial does appear to have taken an unusually long time.

Hartman's second trial began in April 2017, and the judge didn't make her ruling until November 2018 — a span of 20 months.

Under what's come to be known as the Jordan ruling, the Supreme Court placed a presumptive ceiling of 18 months on cases tried in provincial court.

"[Twenty months in this case is] well in excess of the Jordan guidelines, on the face of it," Ertel said.

"It's a very long time for a decision to be rendered, and for that delay not to count in the Jordan calculation, the Crown would have to persuade the court that there was something so complex about the case that it would require that much time for the judge to give a decision."

'Doesn't want to take responsibility,' woman says

The Ottawa-area woman at the centre of the case — who cannot be identified because of a court-ordered publication ban — found out about her attacker's Jordan application last Friday after a social worker with victim's services left her a voicemail.

"I listened to it and immediately my heart was racing. I was in tears. I was just floored," the 31-year-old said.

"In my head all I could think of was, I thought this was over and it's not."

Since she was attacked in 2011, the woman has dealt with two trials and two appeals.

She was almost finished writing her victim impact statement when she found out about the Jordan application.

Her initial victim impact statement was written in a spirit of forgiveness and with the hope that Hartman would be rehabilitated. But she said his decision to pursue a stay of proceedings has made it clear to her that he has no remorse.

"My perspective over the last several months has been, I hope he gets the help he needs. But you know what? After the call on Friday it was just like ... he's showing no remorse whatsoever," she said.

"You know he doesn't want to take responsibility for the decision that he made eight years ago."

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